Where productivity reaches its peak.
English exams are a great way of instilling social consciousness in a subtle manner.

A. Use the correct form of the adjective in the ( ). (10 points)

1. What is the _____________________ animal on the planet? (dangerous)

2. The bull shark has very ___________________ teeth. (sharp)

3. The box jellyfish can be ____________________ than most snakes. (deadly)

4. It is said to be the world’s _____________________ animal. (venomous)

5. The African elephant is the world’s ___________________ land animal. (large)

6. They can destroy entire villages when they are _____________. (angry)

7. Some people say that seeing a hippopotamus is ____________ than seeing a crocodile. (bad)

8. It is highly aggressive and its bite is _________________ than a crocodile’s.  (strong)

9. The mosquito, one of the ______________ animals in the planet, kills millions of people worldwide each year. (small)

10. Humans, however, can become __________________ than anything else if they use their intelligence to do evil things. (dangerous)

Snooze Blues (original)

The sun is bright it’s 8am
He’s rushing out his house again
A slice of toast right between his teeth
Shoes worn like slippers on his feet
I wanna tell him that’s what you get
For not jumping out of bed
Maybe you shouldn’t put your phone on snooze again

His eyes are sore at 3am
He’s staring at his book again
Feeling drowsy, barely halfway done
Been up all night, still on chapter one

I wanna tell him you gotta regret
All the time you spent sitting for hours in front of the tv set

He’s grown much older he’s 23
He’s spent six years working on his degree
It might be seven, he ain’t finished yet
So young yet so full of regret

I wanna tell him straighten up you fool
You spent your years just playin’ it cool
I think you’ve spent your life on snooze for too long

I was randomly typing up some sentences for my students’ English long test on pronouns, when I realized I came up with a short semi-existential piece. Here was that part of the test I made:

Circle the pronoun in each sentence. Write S if it is a subject pronoun, and write P if it is a possessive pronoun. (10 points)

___ 1. One late afternoon, Billy went out of his house.

___ 2. He wanted to take a break from work.

___ 3. The air was cool and it was nice to breathe.

___ 4. Some birds were flapping their wings in the sky.

___ 5. A man selling taho took his tired legs around the village.

___ 6. Billy passed by a tree and looked at its leaves.

___ 7. They looked dry and brittle.

___ 8. “What are you looking at?” a child who passed by asked.

___ 9. “I was just looking at this tree,” Billy answered.

___ 10. “That’s not a very nice tree to look at,” the child said as he left.

"The rain continued. It was a hard rain, a perpetual rain, a sweating and steaming rain; it was a mizzle, a downpour, a fountain, a whipping at the eyes, an undertow at the ankles; it was a rain to drown all rains and the memory of rains. It came by the pound and the ton, it hacked at the jungle and cut the trees like scissors and shaved the grass and tunneled the soil and molted the bushes. It shrank men’s hands into the hands of wrinkled apes; it rained a solid glassy rain, and it never stopped.” - The Long Rain, Ray Bradbury

Call Me Maybe (Carly Rae Jepsen cover)

Come to think about it, it actually is quite a nice song…


You should see Ben Howard’s version of it though: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPU8V-nvUEk

On Love and Truth

"Indeed, most people nowadays would not consider love as related in any way to truth. Love is seen as an experience associated with the world of fleeting emotions, no longer with truth.

"But is this an adequate description of love? Love cannot be reduced to an ephemeral emotion. True, it engages our affectivity, but in order to open it to the beloved and thus to blaze a trail leading away from self-centredness and towards another person, in order to build a lasting relationship; love aims at union with the beloved. Here we begin to see how love requires truth. Only to the extent that love is grounded in truth can it endure over time, can it transcend the passing moment and be sufficiently solid to sustain a shared journey. If love is not tied to truth, it falls prey to fickle emotions and cannot stand the test of time. True love, on the other hand, unifies all the elements of our person and becomes a new light pointing the way to a great and fulfilled life. Without truth, love is incapable of establishing a firm bond; it cannot liberate our isolated ego or redeem it from the fleeting moment in order to create life and bear fruit.”

"There were those who tried to save faith by making room for it alongside the light of reason. Such room would open up wherever the light of reason could not penetrate, wherever certainty was no longer possible.

"Faith was thus understood either as a leap in the dark, to be taken in the absence of light, driven by blind emotion, or as a subjective light, capable perhaps of warming the heart and bringing personal consolation, but not something which could be proposed to others as an objective and shared light which points the way.

"Slowly but surely, however, it would become evident that the light of autonomous reason is not enough to illumine the future; ultimately the future remains shadowy and fraught with fear of the unknown.

"As a result, humanity renounced the search for a great light, Truth itself, in order to be content with smaller lights which illumine the fleeting moment yet prove incapable of showing the way.

Yet in the absence of light everything becomes confused; it is impossible to tell good from evil, or the road to our destination from other roads which take us in endless circles, going nowhere.”

Lines from Lumen Fidei

Once man has lost
The fundamental orientation
Which unifies his 
existence,
He breaks down into
The multiplicity of his desires;

In refusing to await
The time of promise
His lifestory 
disintegrates into

A myriad of unconnected instants.

***

I read these lines from Pope Francis’ Lumen Fidei, and I couldn’t help but notice how beautifully the lines were written, so I wrote them down here in verse form. (Read the encyclical here: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20130629_enciclica-lumen-fidei_en.html)

Empty Bottles

The city lights had gone to sleep
As I was watching from my windowsill
The view was dark from many stories high
And now I’m looking for some time to kill
I’ve gone through many sleepless nights
Wondering what the hell I ought to do
The pavement doesn’t seem so far
It’s where my life had always headed to

And maybe I should go to bed
But I’m still waiting for some light outside
To erase the dimness inside of my head
Just to make sure that everything’s alright
That it’s all gonna be alright

The empty bottles on the floor
Tell me that I’ve been always searching for
Some kind of never ending high that does
Not fade and make me long for so much more
Somebody, tell me where I ought to look
It seems there’s really nothing here below
That will fill me up and satisfy
Is there something more I ought to know?

Is there anything beyond
That will fill me up and satisfy
Is there anything beyond
Is there anything beyond?

New record! Don’t be so quick to assume that I’m the persona in this song. I usually like writing about other people’s experiences and imagining I’m in their shoes.

I’m down to these final moments
Before departure time.
I am holding on to every second
I’m spending here
In much prolonged embraces
And parting words.
I find myself one consolation:
That we would see

The same sky in the morning
And the same sky at night


I’m pondering on all the moments
That I had spent
Zooming in on all the seconds wasted
All these years
All of the indiff’rent glances
The words left unsaid
I find myself just one consolation
That we would see

The same sky in the morning
And the same sky at night

I’m down to these final moments
Before departure time
I am holding on to every second
I’m spending here